Video of trespasser spanking a hippo at the L.A. Zoo leads to police investigation

Ksenia Novikova
Aug 16, 2018
12:30 P.M.

A man who decided to hop over the fence at the Los Angeles Zoo was recorded by an astonished onlooker last week. Police are now formally investigating the man's trespassing act, while some on the internet are throwing abuse accusations.


The video which you can watch below was originally posted on Twitter. It shows the man determinedly climbing over the low barrier towards a hippo standing just inside. The hippo, known as Rosie, is accompanied by her mother Mara who is nearby. After landing, the man leans forward carefully, then executes a hurried spanking to Rosie before jumping back over.

The resulting smacking can be heard from the opposite end of the enclosure where the person capturing the incident is standing. She laughs incredulously at what was just witnessed. Meanwhile, in a show of victory, the man put up his arms momentarily before looking back at the animals.


The hippo does not appear to react to the incident, but her mother does. You can see the animal lift its head immediately upon hearing the unexpected sound. Follow us on Twitter for more @amomama_usa

Some viewers simply think the man should be punished for the act of breaking the rules, regardless of the perceived harm to the animal to the innocent animal.


But while Rosie did not go through extreme physical harm, many are still greatly concerned about the violation, arguing that distress is a real possibility and the animals have few ways of conveying that feeling.


Keep in mind also, hippos are responsible for about 500 deaths in Africa yearly according to BBC. As the most deadly larger land creatures, they are not to be underestimated.


Referencing previous incidents, one user noted how the patron not only puts himself at risk but also introduces the possibility of the zoo officials putting down the animal should the incident have taken a bad turn.

The Los Angeles Times reported a comment from April Spurlock, zoo spokeswoman, who says, "We seriously feel this was an isolated incident. Most people know not to go in with the animals. It's common sense."


As a result of the occurrence, zoo authorities have placed a "No Trespassing" sign on this particular exhibit. They are attempting to make it clear that "It is never appropriate for anyone to attempt to have contact or interaction with any animal outside of our staff-led animal experienced," according to Spurlock.

At this point in time, the public is unaware of who exactly this man is, but they can come to their own conclusions based on his actions.


In a previous occurrence, similar actions came from another man more unexpectedly. This televangelist faced a barrage of negative responses when he decided to post of video of himself hitting, punching, and even attempting to headbutt a kangaroo from behind the gates of a Turkish park.

In another incident that occurred less than a week ago, Colorado Springs zoo made a decision to euthanize 8-week-old Penny the giraffe. Learn why and read about the adorable animal who touched the hearts of many in our previous article.

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